The Chasing Cows
Up until recently, I hadn’t really put much thought into cows, at least not much beyond a nicely grilled steak or a bit of stew. I used to believe all bovine were lazy, docile creatures, but that was before I encountered The Chasing Cows.
I know now that there is an entire contingent of discontented cows who wile away their days conspiring against the human race. They may appear to be grazing, but secretly, they are plotting the downfall of man.
The Chasing Cows live in a field down the street from a friend of mine, in a pasture that lies broad and deep and green along a country road. The field in which they graze is separated from the road on which we walked, by a measly 1000 volt electric fence– a mere inconvenience for a true Chasing Cow.
They are stealthy, these cows, for we didn’t notice them creeping up behind us, and this is probably a good thing. I think that the sight of forty creeping cows might have haunted me for the rest of my days.
By the time we noticed them, they had almost caught up to us. The sudden appearance of forty cows on the scene is a bit disconcerting, as you might well imagine, and so we began power walking. The cows followed suit.
It became clear that, having only half as many legs as the average cow, there was no way we were going to out-walk our stalkers, and so we broke into a light jog, trying not to panic. The cows, however, broke into an equally light jog, right on our heels.
I can say with some authority on the subject, that while the sight of forty jogging cows chasing two women down a street might seem comical to the casual observer, it is anything but humorous to the women in question. We took off running, and the cows gave chase.
A grain silo offered the only coverage for miles, so we darted behind it and fell, to the ground, panting. And there we stayed until The Chasing Cows forgot about us and dispersed.
I suppose I should have called the authorities and demanded that they be caged like the wild beasts that they are, but in truth, I couldn’t really blame them. Cows have every reason to be upset with we humans, considering the less than brilliant attempt at animal husbandry, resulting in the creation of the Beefalo.
What, I wonder, is the purpose of mixing a cow with a buffalo? Are there are shortage of available young bulls? And did anyone think to ask the cow how she felt about the buffalo? I’m thinking not.
I also wondered what a Beefalo must look like: was it a buffalo with spots, or a cow with bad hair? Curiosity got the best of me, and I dragged a friend to visit a local Beefalo ranch.
While we were visiting, one of the cows that was heavy with calf, began the first pangs of labor. Now in case you did not know this, cows are, for all their violent tendencies, very modest when it comes to these things, and so, with as much grace and dignity as a pregnant cow could muster, she tried to slip off unnoticed by the herd, the better to have her baby in private.
Buffalo, on the other hand, do not know the first thing about modesty, especially during labor and delivery. In fact, it is the buffalo’s natural tendency to want to assemble the herd around the mother, the better to defend her from any would be predators. This is, in it’s own Wild Kingdom sort of way, a very chivalrous act on the part of the Buffalo.
However, the results were that for the next hour or so, the cow – who was becoming increasingly annoyed with the persistence of the shaggy beasts, was chased about the country side by an entire herd of buffalo, bent on protecting her from lions and tigers and what have you.
Finally, exhausted, the cow mooed once, and the baby fell to the ground with a thud, and the Beefalo began its life on earth. It was truly quite a spectacle.
This experience gave me new insight into the bovine mind, and explained much about The Chasing Cows. Had I been in labor, and a herd of anything began chasing me about, I would have turned and killed every last one of them with a single look, demanded my epidural, and then gone about my business.
As it happens, friends of ours own a cattle ranch, and one night while visiting, I shared my newly formed theories about Chasing Cows with them. They looked at me incredulously.
“Dori,” the wife said patiently, as you might to a particularly slow child, “They weren’t trying to kill you. They thought you had food. When they’re hungry, they follow the first person that comes along because they think it’s time to eat.”
I thought about this for a second, and weighed it against my carefully thought out theories; theories that had taken weeks to conclude, and I came to only one possible response: “Oh. Never mind.”
While I might never get a chance to share my cow psychology theories with the national agricultural society, I did learn sometime from the experience myself, so at least it wasn’t a complete loss.
I learned that cows are a lot like humans in a way: we both have the choice to chase or be chased. We can run from that which torments us, or we can choose to turn and run after our Provider. The choice is ours. Personally, I would far rather be a Chasing Cow than a Beefalo, any day.
Copyright 2004 Dori Knight
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